Captain Monty with his Trophy
For so long the often glum faced Scot has been the butt of many jokes in the media. His slumbered shoulders and his head down walk has been seen tracing up the fairways all over the world. Though for a while it has been his game that has made him like this. For years he was European number one, the man they all wanted to beat. He never won a major and arguably that was his biggest downfall but on the other hand there was the Ryder Cup. Long has the biennial team event been his major and it’s interesting the way he ups his game so much over the three day’s to be unbeatable. His record stands for itself, played 36, won 20, halved seven and lost only nine. He remains unbeaten in the singles and he can now add winning captain against his name after his teams win at Celtic Manor. Never has a match been so tense or so close but for Monty he showed emotion rarely seen. It got to him at the end but who could blame him. His ‘two years of hell’ as he puts it being captain I believe has changed him for the better. A more happy demeanour you see on the screen and the way he talks to the media is a much more positive and polite manor. The players could not have praised him higher and he certainly stuck to his word when he said he would ‘leave no stone unturned. Backed by fantastic backroom staff, he involved everyone from players and caddies to partners to make them feel part of the action. He wanted their input, it wasn’t down to the possibility of passing the buck if needed it was being part of a team. If the result of the last singles game had gone the other way the buck would have stopped with Monty. He would have taken blame for his picks, his parings and what was nearly a final day collapse. Instead he gets to celebrate with his team and staff which was all part of the bigger picture anyway. During the event he kept saying that it meant nothing to him personally if he won, it was all for the European Tour and it’s players and he wanted to give back some of the good that has come out of his 25 year playing career. Believe what you will in that, for me there’s no way he didn’t want to get one over on the Americans again like he has done for so long in the Cup. I understand where he is coming from in terms of it’s not about him but the born winner that he is, you know it was churning deep down inside. He now hands the reigns over, more than likely to Jose Maria Olazabal who is favourite amongst the players and bookies. What a blueprint he can follow. Lead from the front, stand tall and stand strong and have people around you that you trust will do a good job. Monty picked Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn of whom he has had run in’s with in the past but he oversaw that and knew that they could do the job he wanted. Something which Sir Nick Faldo could have and should have done two years ago. But I for one can put my full trust in Olazabal to do a great job, body permitting. Another Ryder Cup legend trying to make his mark as captain as well as player. A quick not about the American team. What a refreshing change to have opponents so gracious in defeat at the same time as upholding the game. They could have moaned about the rain, the fog, the format, the delays or the ferocious crowd who alone were a credit to the game. Seeing a worldwide sporting event played out in such a way should be a testament to those out there and to the game of golf. I take my hat off to you and your men Corey. Adam Smith BunkerWorld Editor.
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